Misinformation kills millions of cats each year. Many animal shelters are not the salvation we might hope and imagine they are. While some are implementing new humane and non-lethal policies, others continue with outdated practices that harm cats. Many leaders in animal protection, with the support of elected officials, are forging a new path and demanding change. Here’s what you need to know:

Some cats live inside. Millions of cats are happy to share our homes, whether they were adopted from a shelter, followed us home and decided to stay, or for some other reason. But indoor-only cats are a relatively new phenomenon. It was only with the invention of Kitty Litter in 1947 that cats were able to live indoors exclusively.

Some cats live outside. They live and thrive with their feline families. For thousands of years, cats and people have enjoyed a symbiotic relationship. Cats are incredibly self-sufficient, living near and around our towns and settlements.

People want non-lethal programs for cats. These include low-cost spay and neuter programs, Trap-Neuter-Return programs, foster and adoption services, kitten nurseries, and more Keep animals out of shelters and in homes—whether indoors or outdoors.

The more you know, the more you can help cats.

It’s up to all of us to get involved and advocate for our communities to change for the better. Around the world, people like you are taking charge and doing their part to challenge the status quo. This #GlobalCatDay, explore and share the stories of the unsung heroes of cats.

Learn more about us at alleycat.org.